Developers from Alberta and British Columbia today announced a contract with golf legend Greg Norman to design an 18-hole championship golf course in Fernie. Ranked a top player in the world for most of his career, Norman and his company Greg Norman Golf Course Design is recognized as a top signature design firm with (47) courses open for play worldwide and upwards of (20) projects in various stages of development.

Norman’s latest project, called Blackstone to reflect the strength of the Elk Valley region’s peoples and the bounty of the land, is slated to begin immediately. The golf course will be part of a larger real estate initiative from The Blackstone Partnership, with representatives from Alberta and British Columbia investing approximately $34.5 million over the next three years. It will be an integral feature in the creation of a lifestyle community that will provide year-round resort living.

Set against the backdrop of towering mountain peaks with views of the equally magnificent Elk Valley, Blackstone will be beautifully situated in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Accentuating the area’s untamed beauty, Blackstone will be a course of great character with a superbly presented design that respects the site’s natural landscape and environment.

“We believe the uniqueness of the course site is enriched by the distinct history, character and features of Fernie, British Columbia,” says Joe Amantea, spokesperson for The Blackstone Partnership. “Our plans are to respect and reflect these strengths in the development of Blackstone. The community and golf course will be true to its nature, true to its grand surroundings and true to the authenticity of Fernie.”

Greg Norman is known the world over as an environmentally sensitive golf course designer. His ‘least disturbance’ approach consistently complements the natural beauty and uniqueness of a region in a way that makes his Signature courses look as though they have always been there.

“The site is ideal for golf as it offers an incredible number of natural features.There is the meandering Coal Creek that runs through the front nine. There are the towering trees and the incredible mountain views in every direction,” says Greg Norman. “Add the topographical variety that exists at Blackstone and we have been presented with an unbelievable site for our next golf design project.”

Blackstone will be situated in the broad valley between the peaks of the Three Sisters, the Lizard Range and Morrissey Ridge on more than 400 acres of land. The Greg Norman Signature Course will be open for play to members and the public in 2006.

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